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Egg (oocyte) donation: This method is used in cases where pregnancy cannot be achieved with the egg of the mother-to-be for any reason. At the same time, couples who experience recurrent pregnancy loss with their own eggs can also benefit from this method. In vitro fertilization method is used to achieve pregnancy with egg donation. The only difference between a classical IVF method and donation is that, the eggs are taken from a healthy donor and transferred as part of the treatment process. In this way, a couple who may never achieve pregnancy with the classical in vitro fertilisation method can have healthy children.

Tup Bebek Tedavileri

Why Can’t a Woman Get Pregnant With Her Own Eggs?

The most common cause is the number and quality of eggs that decrease with age. There are approximately 6-7 million eggs (in ovaries). After this time, the eggs in ovaries will continue to decrease with each passing month until a girl is born and enters menopause. This process of exhaustion occurs much earlier than expected in some women.

The reason why some women cannot conceive with their own eggs is not always due to the depletion of eggs. Sometimes, there may be genetic problems of the mother-to-be that have already been revealed or not. Embryos (fertilized eggs) can be obtained with classical in vitro fertilization methods, but pregnancy may not be achieved even after multiple trials. Sometimes pregnancy is obtained, but losses are experienced during gestation.

In treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, recurrent ovarian cyst surgeries, where the ovaries are affected, pregnancy may not be possible as the ovaries will be damaged. In this case, if the expectant mother has not undergone egg freezing, the only method for pregnancy will be egg donation. Sometimes consanguineous marriages may also cause issues due to disorders in the same chromosome in the mother and father. This is also another reason for choosing egg donation as technique.


How is a Donor (Egg Donor) Selected?

Donor eggs must be of high quality for the treatment to be successful and healthy babies to be born. In Northern Cyprus, donor selection is determined by certain laws and regulations. Donors must be between the ages of 18 and 35. In our clinic, this age range is kept between 21-28. This is the age range with the highest pregnancy rates. Genetic screening (karyotype) is performed to check whether the donor is suitable for donation. Sexually transmitted diseases; hepatitis, syphilis and HIV tests are applied. Haemoglobin electrophoresis test is performed to determine whether the donor is a possible carrier of Thalassemia (Mediterranean anaemia). A complete blood count, liver and kidney function tests, fasting blood glucose, thyroid hormone tests are performed before egg donation to evaluate the general health status.

Mental health is important both from a legal point of view. This is because diseases such as schizophrenia can be genetically transmitted and therefore, donors receive approval from a psychiatry doctor before egg donation. After all these tests, the donor's ovaries are checked with ultrasound in order to determine if they are suitable for donation. The donor's suitability for donation is also evaluated by the physician as part of which the physician speaks with the donor face to face.

The majority of donor candidates (who want to donate their eggs) who consult to our centre are undergraduate or graduate students, healthy and young people with intellectual capacity above a certain level.


How do we determine the suitable donor for you?

First of all, the blood group of the donor is selected in order to ensure that the blood group of the baby to be born in the future is compatible with that of the mother and father. In the same way, photographs of the couple are requested before the treatment and a suitable donor is selected in terms of appearance.


Procedures to be Consider in Egg Donation

Since donation issues are very sensitive, the confidentiality of identity between the donor and the recipient family must be approached with absolute sensitivity. Although it is legally clear that signatures are obtained and no one can claim rights from each other, it is best that the parties do not recognise each other. If couples want to choose their own relatives or someone they trust as a donor, there is no obstacle as long as the donor meets the legal conditions.


How do we plan the treatment?

Since the majority of couples applying for egg donation treatment come from abroad, treatment plans are made in such a way that the couples will stay in Cyprus for the shortest amount of time. There is no such obligation for the couples who want to stay in Cyprus for a long time for holiday and complete their entire treatment here.

For couples who want to minimise the treatment period in Cyprus due to work or various reasons, we start the treatment process before they leave their countries. If there is enough time, starting one month before the uterine wall (endometrium) is prepared for embryo transfer, the menstrual date is adjusted to the travel date. For this purpose, menstrual regulators are used and hormonal levels are checked.

Then, on the 2nd or 3rd day of menstruation, the hormonal levels of the expectant mother are checked to see if there is any obstacle for the transfer. On the same day that the treatment is started for the expectant mother, the donor is also given an egg-developing injection. As in a routine IVF treatment, the donor uses an egg developer injection for an average of 11-12 days and the eggs are collected 35.5 hours after the egg maturator (hatching injection).

The expectant mother also takes estrogen hormone during this 14-day period and progesterone is started on the day the eggs are collected from the donor. On the day of egg collection (OPU), the father-to-be gives a sperm sample and ICSI (fertilisation) is performed with the collected eggs under a microscope. The expectant mother is transferred 3 or 5 days after fertilisation.


Can PGD (Genetic Diagnosis) or NGS (Extended Genetic Diagnosis) be added to Egg Donation Treatment?

Thanks to preimplantation genetic diagnosis or NGS (Next-Generation Sequencing), we can see whether the embryos we will transfer have genetic diseases and their gender before transfer. These modern genetic scans increase our pregnancy success in egg donation treatments, reduce miscarriage rates and allow us to know the sex of the transferred embryo in advance.


When Can You Travel After Treatment (After Transfer)?

In egg donation treatment, there is no lower or upper limit for travelling after the transfer according to medical data. In our centre, we recommend a rest period of 2-3 hours after the transfer procedure. Generally, we find it appropriate to travel by plane at the earliest one day after the embryo transfer date.

If it is necessary to summarise the treatment process:

  • Evaluation of the mother-to-be and all test results 
  • Finding a suitable rotator 
  • Determination of the treatment date range 
  • Simultaneous initiation of treatment for the expectant mother and donor
  • Arrival and transfer to Cyprus
  • Pregnancy test